Important Announcement
about the November Gathering

The Lausanne Europe 20/21 Planning Team have been working hard for many months preparing for our in-person Gathering in November whilst, at the same time, monitoring the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, and particularly in Poland. Right up to last week, we believed that it was still possible for us to gather in person as we had intended.

However, after consultation with medical expertise in Poland, and with senior Lausanne leadership globally and much prayer, we have come to the conclusion that it would simply not be responsible for us to hold a face-to-face gathering this autumn and we have decided to transform LE20/21 into an online Gathering.

There were many factors in our decision but there were three principal ones:
  • The rates of Covid infection are predicted to rise in Poland this autumn. The LE20/21 Gathering would draw delegates from not just Europe but all over the world, meaning that there is a significant risk of LE20/21 becoming a superspreader event that sees delegates take new strains of the virus back to their countries after the Gathering.
  • The hotel in Wisla is large and will be open to other guests. Even if we were to require delegates to undergo Covid-19 testing and be fully vaccinated, we cannot require staff and other guests to do the same. No matter how careful we and our delegates are, there are many things that are completely outside our control.
  • Going ahead with the Gathering in these circumstances may have a negative impact on the testimony of the church in Europe. We would be open to accusations of irresponsibility if LE20/21 is found to be the cause of an outbreak somewhere else in Europe or the rest of the world.
We are deeply disappointed and we are sure you are too! The prospect of bringing together in person key leaders from around Europe, the young and the not-so-young, men and women, native Europeans and leaders from the Majority World in Europe, to meet, talk, listen, and pray for our continent, was something we were eagerly anticipating.

However, we are not cancelling the Lausanne Europe 20/21 Gathering. We believe that God has a purpose in this once-in-a-generation event. So we are redoubling our efforts to plan a fully online Gathering over the same days in November. This will take the best of our planned programme, will feature the most strategic speakers, and will maximise the contact between delegates. We are already working hard to make this online Gathering as interactive and engaging as possible.

So please keep 17th-21st November in your diaries but you should cancel your travel arrangements, if you made any, at your earliest opportunity. We will be in contact again shortly with further information about the fees that you have paid and the programme for the online Gathering.

Lausanne Europe 20/21 was always envisioned as a Gathering and a Conversation, and the Conversation continues. This month, Impact Groups will be restarting across Europe and it is still not too late to think about commencing one.

We also have another Prayer Zoom coming up on 22nd September at 19.00h CET and we would love you to join us with the following zoom details:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89167554680
Meeting ID: 891 6755 4680

Perhaps more than anything else right now, we would ask for your prayers. Pray for us as we rework the programme so that we might have wisdom about which elements should remain as they are and which should be revised. Pray for the speakers who will have to rethink their presentations for an online conference. Pray too for the logistical, financial and practical consequences of moving the Gathering online.

We would be grateful for your understanding, support and prayer over the next few weeks. Another email will be coming with further details and instructions very soon.

We believe that God has a purpose in everything. So even in our disappointment, we are expectant to see what He will do through the ongoing LE20/21 Conversation and the online Gathering in November. God is on His throne!

Warmly in Christ,
The Coordination Team for Lausanne Europe 20/21 for Dynamic Gospel – New Europe
Lars Dahle (chair), Ole-Magnus Olafsrud (vice-chair), Jim Memory, Usha Reifsnider, Janet Sewell, and Bodil Skjøtt